JVC DLA-RS25 Projector Review

JVC DLA-RS25 Projector Screen Recommendations

Great projectors tend to look great on any good screen. The trick with the RS25 is to match the screen to your room, and your viewing requirements. Essentially, this section is the same as for last year’s RS20 as there are no significant differences that would have any impact on projector screen selections.

For example, the RS25 does the best black levels around, so you really don’t need to consider a high contrast gray screen, like the Firehawk G3 I use in my main theater, unless it is to deal with some (side) ambient light. For those with a fully light controlled room, for example, the StudioTek 130 G3, or other moderate gain white surfaces should be an excellent match. I had no issues with the black levels when switching to my Carada Brilliant White 106″ screen (gain 1.4), in terms of black levels, beyond closing down the iris to reduce overall brightness for movie watching (due to the smaller screen size).

Thanks to the RS25′s brightness in THX, and calibrated Cinema 2, the RS25 has plenty of horsepower to handle the full 128″ diagonal size of my Firehawk G3, in fact it still had enough lumens to spare that I reduced the iris from its maximum setting of 0, to -5, and still had enough brightness.

For those of us who also like to watch sports, or typical TV/HDTV programming in an environment with some intentional ambient light, the THX and Dynamic modes are just a tad brighter, so there’s not a lot of spare lumens to deal with ambient light. In a room like mine, while I don’t need the Firehawk surface for great movie watching (room fully darkened), the screen’s handling of side ambient light really comes in handy for dealing with the intentional ambient light I like for sports viewing, much of which comes from the sides. For that, the Firehawk does a great job.

Bottom line, get a good screen that meets your lighting requirements. Preferably it should be a very fine surface, designed for 1080p projectors. For those wanting really large screens, higher gain screens may do the trick but remember, they have a narrow viewing cone (where you sit) and tend to roll off brightness in the corners.

JVC DLA-RS25 - Competitors

How does the JVC DLA-RS25 compare to other 1080p home theater projectors on the market? In this section we consider the practical and performance differences, between JVC’s RS25 projector and some of the toughest competition

DLA-RS25 vs. Epson Home Cinema 8500UB, Pro 9500UB

View a more in-depth comparison of the JVC DLA-RS25 vs. Epson Home Cinema 8500UB in our Home Projector Comparison Report 2010.

The RS25 is roughly three times the price of the Home Cinema 8500UB, and over twice the price of the Pro Cinema 9500UB.

And, as an owner of the older RS20 and an Epson Home Cinema 1080UB (and having a 9500UB here as well), I have to say that the RS25 is the superior projector.

Those of you seriously interested in this comparison probably fit into these categories.

1. First projector – if you can afford either, you want to know if the JVC is worth the difference

2. You have an older Epson UB, and are considering going to the JVC

3. You have an old 720p projector or an old entry level 1080p model , and want to move to an ultra-high contrast 1080p projector.

These “UB” Epson’s may have the best black levels of any of the lower cost projectors, but they both still come up short compared to the DLA-RS25, (and likely, for that matter, short of the RS15, although those should be much closer).

Not only will you get blacker blacks, but the JVC does it without dynamic iris, so no compression of images that are generally dark but with a few small bright areas.

As good as the Epson is, the RS25 is a step up in terms of black level performance.

Shadow details – the JVC has a slight advantage here too. That said, the JVC isn’t exceptionally good at shadow detail, just a bit better than the Epson. Both, however are still very reasonably good. Remember, because these projectors have relatively very black blacks, the nearest dark shadow detail, is much darker – and there for harder to spot, than on projectors with inferior black level performance.

Placement flexiblity – both excellent with the Epson spouting more lens shift range.

Warranty – Both 2 years, but the Epson gets the win, for the two year replacement program that’s part of theirs.

Color accuracy, natural, look and skin tones. Sorry Epson, the JVC wins, rather easily. The Epson is more of a pop and wow projector. On some things it looks right on, but on others just a tiny bit over the top, enough to be less natural looking. When it comes to color, and skin tones, We’ve calibrated a number of Epson UB’s and while they are very good, the JVC really nails it by comparison. The JVC though may not be the absolute best on skin tones, (close), but its visibly superior to the Epson in side by side viewings.

If money is tight, and the JVC is just plain out of reach the Epson is a great lower cost alternative. That said, it definitely hasn’t as refined a picture, and isn’t a projector that a true purist would select, but one that will please most enthusiasts.

The JVC, outmuscles the Epson easily in :best” mode with a rather significant 50% more lumens. Comparing brightest – the Epson’s got almost as great an advantage. I can’t tell you how often I wish the brightest mode of my JVC was as bright as my Epson’s when I’m watching sports. Still the JVC’s almost 900 lumens is definitely acceptable in my room with my 128″ Firehawk and low levels of ambient light.

Both, by the way, have Creative Frame interpolation. Here I give the advantage to the Epson. Still, most won’t use it for movies, and both are fine for sports.

My last thought: When asked – Is the JVC worth the difference, my answer is, if you can afford either, and you really want a great projector, then – Yes!

JVC DLA-RS25 vs. Mitsubishi HC7000

I didn’t have an HC7000 here for the RS25 review, or for that matter the RS20 review back in Janurary of this year (09).

The Mitsubishi, however stacks up this way. It costs less than half as much. It is way quieter. It has a slightly sharper image. It’s not anywhere near as bright in best mode, and, for that matter, it’s not as bright in brightest mode either. The HC7000 is a great projector for small screens (best for 100″ diagonal or less). It’s black levels are in the league of, but not quite as good as the Epson 8500UB discussed above, so the JVC has the significant advantage there, but, like the Epson, the Mitsubishi does offer excellent black level performance.

Shadow detail is about comparable.

When it comes to out of the box image quality, the Mitsubishi is “respectable” but a calibration is needed for best results. Calibrating the HC7000 is easy compared to the RS25. While we also strongly urge a calibraton of the RS25, it should be noted that the RS25′s out of the box THX mode is definitely superior to the best mode the Mitsubishi can muster out of the box.

The Mitsubishi HC7000, unlike the RS25, lacks creative frame interpolation. The HC7000 takes a 24fps source up to 48fps, while the JVC goes to 96fps. I don’t consider this to be a significant advantage, except to some sensitive to one type of motion blur.

The JVC has a slight advantage in placement flexibility.

Price is the biggest single difference. The Mitsubishi most likely is being sold by local dealers for less than half the JVC’s price, making it more a competitor of the RS10/RS15, than the RS25. Also in Mitsubishi’s favor is longer overall lamp life. Actually both are rated 2000 hours at full power, but the Mitsubishi claims 5000 hours in low lamp. Better ask yourself, though, considering the lower brightness of the Mitsubishi, if you will have the room/screen setup that really allows you to run in economy mode, due to the low lumens.

Bottom Line: The Mitsubishi is a nice projector in it’s class, the JVC, awesome in it’s higher class. The Mitsubishi isn’t without advantages though, being exceptionally quiet, and sharper than the JVC.

JVC DLA-RS25 vs. BenQ W6000

Hmm, $2500 vs. $8000. Another odd-ball comparison. Still like with the Epson UB’s, I consider the W6000 one of the really good low cost alternatives for the kind of folks that would love to have an RS25.

I’ll keep this one shorter, save some for the RS15 review.

The BenQ’s strengths:

  • Visibly sharper image
  • Brighter than the JVC in best or brightest by, not a huge, yet, still a significant amount (Best Mode: BenQ: mid 800 lumens with Brilliant Color off or over 1000 with it on. JVC is mid 700 lumens.
  • In Brightest modes the BenQ is almost 40% brighter
  • Lower cost, of course
  • Would be my choice for sports viewing
  • Rich colors combine with lots of lumens for more pop and wow!

The JVC’s strengths

  • Slightly better color accuracy
  • Noticeably better on darker scenes, thanks to the best black levels around
  • Better placement flexibility
  • Overall picture is excellent
  • A smooth, refined look, the W6000′s image, is by comparison, a little rough around the edges.
  • If it was a car, it would be “a sweet ride”

That pretty much covers it in broad strokes. The W6000 is an excellent lower priced projector that is lumen and color rich. The RS25 is simply a better, if less punchy picture.

JVC DLA-RS25 vs. Sanyo PLV-Z3000

I’m not going to say much here. Because of brightness differences, and black level performance, these are not even close to being competitors. The Sanyo PLV-Z3000 has the weakest black levels of the top of the line “ultra high contrast” LCD projectors, so while still very good, their black levels are no match at all for the RS25. When it comes to brightness the Z3000 is actually a little brighter in brightest mode than the JVC, but the JVC has roughly double the lumens in it’s best mode, when both have their iris’s open.

The Sanyo is a really good projector for the bucks, and has a three year warranty, but the only time someone might seriously consider both, is if they are torn between spending a little now, and planning a major upgrade in a year or two, and they are a smaller screen user.

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